Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Professional croissant on closed course. Do not attempt.

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variable laundry pricing

the price to start a washer or drier in the laundromat varies with demand
 
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Newer laundry machines have their price controlled electrically, rather than mechanically. This makes it easy for the manager to switch the prices. Usually, the price is simply increased as the market will bear a higher cost.

Imagine adding sensors to each machine which can tell if it is currently running, or finished but not yet unloaded. This information would be wired to a central computer, which would set a price to start another machine. The more machines in use (a not-yet-unloaded machine counting as partially in use), the higher the price. This would not only curb congestion at peak demand times, but would give a price break to those willing to adjust their schedules to come at low-demand times.

riemann, Nov 09 2003

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       perhaps a little plastic prize in the machine when the place is empty..
po, Nov 09 2003
  
      
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